What is the internal logic of Strength to Love?

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The internal logic of Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr. is derived from the fact that this work is a collection of sermons. He began this project in jail over a two-week period during the Albany Movement. Many of King’s words were actually deleted from the final text because the publishing company wanted to emphasize religious values rather than talk of political or economic issues, which King had included in his original manuscript.

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Strength to Love is a collection of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most notable sermons. He proposed the idea in 1957 to Melvin Arnold from Harper & Brothers’ Religious Books Department.

However, he did not begin writing the manuscript until 1962 while in jail during the Albany Movement. In that fifteen-day period, King experienced terrible conditions in jail while simultaneously drafting several sermons which would later become part of Strength to Love.

King’s editors were initially impressed with his writing but later removed text that was thought to be too political or controversial. For example, King’s anti-military and anti-war ideas were taken out of the text. His editors wanted to emphasize King’s thoughts on religious values and love as the primary force for social change.

This was concerning for King, particularly because he worried that his message would be taken out of context. He felt that sermons were intended to be heard by a large congregation rather than read as essays.

Nevertheless, King’s Strength to Love was a great success. It was the first volume of sermons written by an African American religious leader that was available to a primarily white audience. King combined his religious teachings with his work in social activism. This book demonstrated King’s intelligence and compassion, beyond his work in the civil rights movement.

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